FBI warns NC residents of phone scam

The FBI is warning North Carolina residents of a phone scam that requests money from unpaid student loans.

The FBI says the phone scammer poses as an FBI agent and spoofs their phone number on the victim’s caller ID.

The caller demands repayment for a student loan and occasionally threatens to arrest the victim. The caller also tells the victim they will not graduate if the fees are not paid immediately through MoneyGram, officials say.

To get personal, the caller often calls the victim by name. Scammers have spoofed phone numbers from FBI offices in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Montana and Wisconsin.

The FBI reminds the public that agents do not call private citizens to request money. They say phone scammers typically use fear, intimidation and threats to get the victims to send money.

The FBI gave the following tips to protect against fraud:

▪  Never give out personal information to someone you did not initiate contact with.

▪  Before signing up for a contest or email distribution list, make sure the business has a policy not to share your information or sell it to a third party.

▪  Be leery of anyone you did not initiate contact with who asks for payment using a third party such as MoneyGram or GreenDot prepaid cards.

▪  Scammers count on your lack of knowledge, so take the time to educate yourself about any offer you receive.

Anyone who receives a call from a possible scammer can report a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

WBTV is a news partner of The Charlotte Observer.